About Me

Interview with Der Weg Einer Freiheit

The name Der Weg Einer Freiheit may not be the catchiest and easiest but this German outfit plays music that is strong enough to be carved in your mind forever. “Live in Berlin” is about to be released and marks the 10th anniversary of this Black Metal band. Keep on reading the conversation that Metal Imperium had with the band.

M.I. - First off, many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s start with an easy one… the name of the band isn’t exactly easy to say or memorize… why have you opted for such a complicated name?

Yes, I must confess that for non-German speakers the name is quite difficult to pronounce and remember. We hear that quite often! But in the beginning when I was looking for a fitting name none of these factors were present or important in my mind somehow. Most important was to find a name that reflects what I'm actually doing the best way possible. So this band name is just the quintessence of what the band is all about. Writing and playing music live makes me feel free even though it's just for a short moment. I feel freedom in the world today is getting restricted more and more looking at limitations in freedom of speech, privacy, religion etc. which always causes conflicts, corruption and war. Music and this band in particular is my personal “way of (a) freedom”, a way to escape from this and maybe set other people thinking about their lives they lead.

M.I. - You are quite unique in the Black Metal universe because you play/sing everything in German… don’t you think it may limit your achievements because some fans won’t even give you a chance simply because they don’t understand your message?

If people think that not understanding the lyrics makes the music not worth listening too, they're doing it wrong. I mean in the majority of music I listen to I never understand what the singer actually sings because of the rough singing style. And for me personally music always comes first so most of the time I even don't care about and read the lyrics actually. Maybe I'm also the wrong person to ask, haha! But our past proved that actually people are even rather attracted by this language they're not familiar with instead of not giving it a chance because they don't understand a word. So in the end we could say it's even an advantage being rather an exotic specimen among all the other bands out there. We even had fans in Russia or other countries telling us they've started to learn German just to understand our music more. They have certain emotions when listening to it and just want to know if it matches with our lyrical themes. Which is a wonderful thing in my opinion and wouldn't happen if we sung in English.

M.I. - Philosophy, life and death seem to be your favourite topics… why are you so interested in them? Who are the authors that have influenced you the most?

For me music has always been a very personal thing. While creating music you get to know yourself better and you find out that a lot of your personality and thoughts lie within your music. So when I wrote the first songs for this band it was important for me that it reflects all my thoughts, moods and character and since I'm quite a moody guy with many ups and downs you find all of this within the music. It all came quite naturally, I haven't thought about any concept in the first place. I think what is important and keeps the music interesting is creating contrasts between things that in the first place seem to be incompatible with eachother (contrasts like life and death). We're trying to provide a medium where two or even more different extremes can co-exist musically but also emotionally. If you have a closer look basically everything around us happens in cycles or periods that repeat themselves. After reaching one extreme it will regress to the other side/extreme. Finding a balance between those extremes is basically how we spend our life and certainly the biggest extremes in it is our birth and death. That's why these topics are quite important and present in our music. Important authors that inspired me are Hermann Hesse and Fjodor Dostojewski.

M.I. - 2019 marks 10 years of DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT ‘s existence… what have you learnt in this decade?

Actually I wasn't really aware until last summer that this band already existed for 10 years now. It was February 22nd 2009 (my birthday actually) when we officially released the first demo album so that's why we decided to make 2019 a special year. Seeing how the average lifespan of young bands nowadays is not much larger than a few years we're happy to still be around. It's important to us having a slow but constant and lasting progression in our career. We never had the aim to be the biggest band on earth or earn our money with it. Our aim was always being able to exactly do what we want to do without too much pressure from the outside and having all freedom we need. I guess this is the biggest lesson we've learned over the years. Not taking it too serious, don't rush and most of all not force things. Let them happen naturally, especially when writing music – make sure to maintain your artistic integrity. Success isn't money or fame, it's being happy and doing what you love.

M.I. - “Live in Berlin” will be released in March. How did the idea of releasing a live album come up?

This album has actually been quite an accidental product. We didn't really intend to make a live album on this tour (September/October 2017) but since we've used a new live setup and own microphones for the first time it was just a push of a button to multitrack our set. So we tracked the shows in Paris, Cologne and Berlin and afterwards it turned out that we've been in very good shape at that final show of the tour in Berlin. After seeing through the single tracks in detail and mixing the live music video for “Aufbruch” early last year which features the audio from this very same Berlin show we thought it made sense to us to mix the full show and release it as a live album. This recording is stripped down to the very essentials, we only had 13 individual channels available, no overdubs – you can say this album represents the truest form of our sound. Which is not only an interesting thing to hear for our fans but also for ourselves and it will definitely shape our approach of writing and recording our future music.

M.I. - Was the show filmed and only afterwards did you decide to release it or was the idea already there before the show happened?

As I said it was rather just “ok let's record, don't tell anyone and see what happens” other than a really planned recording. The video footage for “Aufbruch” has been filmed by a friend who accompanied the last few days of the tour but he only filmed this particular song and that's why there's only video material of this song and not from the whole show. Many fans have been asking for a DVD/Blueray but unfortunately we can only offer the audio. A whole show filmed will require actual preparation and planning and we might do something like this some time in the future. For now, it's just the live album!

M.I. - Do you think fans will appreciate a live album better than a full-length?

This release is rather just a bridge between our last album and the upcoming one. Although it carries the extent of almost two DWEF full-length albums I think just the raw sales of the album won't be able to keep up with a full-length record. Though, we're proud of what we have achieved with this live album and it's a total different approach and sound from the studio recordings. That what makes it special and we're sure our fans will appreciate this effort as well!

M.I. - Are you working on new material already? Is there a date for it to be released?

Yes, there are a couple of new songs in the making but nothing to be revealed, yet. Also no release date in sight, it might take a bit longer this time.

M.I. - In this year’s tour, you’ll be playing your debut self-titled album from start to finish… is this still your most remarkable album hence this decision?

From my point of view today this album might probably be the most important one, obviously being our first output that enabled us to reach what makes up big parts of our audience today the very first time. Looking at the feedback we get from the fans and just the streaming stats this album still does a good job today. So it just made sense for us to pay tribute to it by playing it in its entirety on this upcoming tour. Next chance to witness this will be another 10 years later!

M.I. - Is the “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” motto so famous a few decades ago still alive? Or are bands more careful and conscious these days?

I'm 30 years old so I don't know how life on the road a few decades ago felt like. But seeing old documentaries or just witnessing stories from other bands that are around for a longer time than we are it seems the past days indeed included a more reckless, drunken, druggy, sexy and rock 'n' roll lifestyle. It certainly had its own energies and atmosphere but everything is fading, the bands from back in the day get older while new bands get younger and more and more professional. Even Nergal from Behemoth goes to the gym everyday on tour (I'd probably do the same if I had someone setting up and checking sound for me, haha) and rather chooses coffee over alcohol. Those who know us personally know we're always up for a good after show party, good alcohol, straying around the city and having fun. But you know, as a band without a big crew daily life on tour is hard work, it's not only playing this one hour on stage. So it's also good to be sober some time and enjoying life on the road without having to deal with hangovers and sleepless nights.

M.I. - How much do you enjoy the touring life?

Very much, as long as I'm not involved in the tour management too much. As a band our size we don't have the capacities and money for a big crew and barely can pay a tour manager. So most of the time I'm handling it myself which mostly turns out to be a pain in the ass (but someone's got to do it!). Apart from that I always enjoy the company of our fans, the show itself and being on the road with my friends. I couldn't tell what became more important for me – recording our touring. Although certainly there needs to be records to go out on tour for sure!

M.I. - In 2018 the band went to Japan for the first time… what were your expectations as a musician? And as a person? It must be very interesting due to the cultural differences between Europe and Asia, right?

It was a great trip, we had two shows in Osaka and Tokyo and stayed in Tokyo for a couple of more days. You can tell it's a totally different world for us but it was a great experience. Japanese people are extremely kind and honest and we had the best hospitality we have ever received from a country. Different from Germany all trains were perfectly on time, there have been no waiting queues at the airport (even in Tokyo) and everything was perfectly organized. We've been received very well by the Japanese people and gave back as much as we could.

M.I. - I know the band is very influenced by music and the Portuguese Fado has had an impact on you. How did you come across Fado? Are you familiar with any Fado singers that you like in particular?

We've been invited by Moonspell for a tour in December 2016. I had been aware of the Portuguese Fado for a longer time but on this tour with Moonspell we got to know this musical style in particular and also much more about Portuguese musical culture which was great. We spent this tour on the same bus as Moonspell, they treated us very nice and told us many different stories about Portugal. Madredeus was a name that stuck in my head, especially their song “Vem”.

M.I. - Are you familiar with the Portuguese metal scene?

Apart from Moonspell we're not very familiar with the Portuguese Metal scene unfortunately. I'm pretty sure there are many unknown gems for us since the country has a long and great musical history. Unfortunately we never had the chance to play Portugal but we hope that changes soon!

M.I. - When will the Portuguese fans have the pleasure of seeing you play live here?

No shows scheduled, yet, but we hope we can get there soon and play our music for you!

M.I. - Please leave a message to the readers of Metal Imperium.

Thank you very much for your time doing this interview. We highly appreciate all the support coming from Portugal and hope to see you all soon!

For portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca